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Doing reconstruction funding well: International lessons for Ukraine’s energy sector

Ukraine’s energy sector, especially the electricity sector, requires billions of dollars of investment to rebuild. To guard against corruption risks, Ukraine can adopt specialist institutions and seek international support. However, a review of past experience from post-conflict energy reconstruction elsewhere shows that these approaches will only be effective – and accountable – if they are pursued alongside large investments into domestic checks and balances.

1 October 2023
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Doing reconstruction funding well: International lessons for Ukraine’s energy sector

Main points

  • Recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine’s energy sector will involve large sums of money, increasing the risk of corruption.
  • Procurement corruption is the greatest area of risk, as it is hard to detect, deeply damaging, and liable to become systemic.
  • Three approaches have been tried in various post-conflict and recovery contexts to reduce corruption risks: an ‘existing institutions’ approach; a ‘specialist institutions’ approach; and ‘internationalising risk management’ approach.
  • Evidence from other settings shows that ‘specialist institutions’ approach and ‘internationalising risk management’ approaches can be effective, but only if they provide incentives for domestic capacity to develop in the long term.
  • Indeed, the central lesson is that the most important pathway for accountability in energy reconstruction is to invest in domestic capacity.
  • International actors have an important role to play to build capacity, but domestic actors need to be assertive on the need for local ownership and proceed with capacity building on their own terms.

Cite this publication

Jackson, D.; (2023) Doing reconstruction funding well: International lessons for Ukraine’s energy sector. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2023:2)

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About the author

Dr. David Jackson leads U4’s thematic work on informal contexts of corruption. His research explores how an understanding of social norms, patron-client politics, and nonstate actors can lead to anti-corruption interventions that are better suited to context. He is the author of various book chapters and journal articles on governance issues and holds degrees from Oxford University, the Hertie School of Governance, and the Freie Universität Berlin.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)